All-American Melissa Tancredi - the leader of Notre Dame's dominant 2004 defense - will be appearing in the 80th game of her career (and final at Alumni Field) in Friday's NCAA quarterfinal vs. Portland.

Irish And Pilots Set To Renew Rivalry In NCAA Quarterfinal Matchup

Nov. 25, 2004

Complete Release in PDF Format
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ND Season Stats in PDF Format
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ND Roster in PDF Format
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Updated NCAA Bracket in PDF Format
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NOTRE DAME WOMEN’S SOCCER – NCAA Quarterfinal vs. Portland (Nov. 26, 2004

The nation’s No. 4-seeded and No. 2-ranked Notre Dame women’s soccer team (22-1-1; 65-12 scoring edge) will face one of its traditional national rivals, 5th-seeded Portland (20-3-0), in NCAA quarterfinal action on Friday, Nov. 26 at Alumni Field (7:00 EST) … ND junior F Katie Thorlakson and her Canadian national teammate, UP senior F Christine Sinclair, are leading candidates for the Hermann Trophy (an award Sinclair won in ’02 before sitting out in ’03 for the World Cup) … the winner will advance to the College Cup semifinals (Dec. 3, at SAS Stadium in Cary, N.C.) … since ’94, only North Carolina (10) has more NCAA semifinal appearances that UP (7) or ND (6) … ND leads a series with Portland (6-3-0) that has seen every game decided by one goal (five 1-0) while the home team is 0-7-0 in the series (plus two neutral-site games) … Portland won a hard-fought game at ND early in ’02 (1-0) … ND is 6-1-0 all-time in the NCAA quarterfinal round, with the only loss coming vs. the Pilots in ’98 (2-1, ND’s first postseason loss ever at Alumni Field) … the Irish opened the NCAAs with a 4-0 win over Eastern Illinois before beating Wisconsin in the final minute (1-0; ND had a 18-1 shot edge and did not allow a shot on goal or CK) and then defeating UConn in the third round (2-0) … Portland also has posted three shutouts in the NCAAs (3-0 vs. Weber State and Colorado, 2-0 vs. 12th-seeded Texas) … six of the 16 seeded teams failed to advance to the 3rd round (including the 2-3-8-9-10 seeds) while ND is the only top-4 seed remaining … the ND-UP winner will face the winner of Illinois at #16 seed Santa Clara (other quarterfinals feature #14 seed UCLA at 6th-seed Ohio State and #15 seed Washington at 7th-seed Princeton).

INFORMATION HIGHWAY – Livestats can be accessed via the main page while internet audio is available to College Sports Pass subscribers (see audio/video link) … College Sports Pass subscribers can view video/audio of the ND soccer coaches television show while listening to game audio of several sports from ND and other schools … broadcasts are archived via the soccer schedule page (see audio/video button for coaches shows) … game recaps are available on the ND Sports Hotline (574-631-3000, press “4,” then “2”)

QUICK TEAM NOTES – ND has opened the NCAAs with three shutouts (7-0) and dominant edges in total shots (59-8), shots on goal (31-3) and corner kicks (19-1) … ND’s ’04 postseason includes a 17-2 scoring edge, 115-23 in shots (avg. 19-4), 61-9 in shots on goal (10-1), 35-2 in CKs (6-0) … after handing Seton Hall an early lead on an errant goal kick (Oct. 22), ND scored the next 17 goals (before UConn rallied to win the BIG EAST title game, 2-1) and now is riding a 24-2 scoring edge over the last 8-plus games … ND has surged to 4th in the nation with a 0.50 GAA (4th ND history) and is 16th in scoring (2.68 goals/gm), as one of four teams in the top-16 of both scoring and GAA … ND owns a 55-12-1 all-time record in postseason play (.816), including 34-3-0 at home (.919) and 29-10-1 in the NCAAs (.738, 2nd-best all-time) … since joining the conference in ’95, ND is 110-10-3 (.907) in all games vs. BIG EAST teams … the Irish have more goals (65) than opp. shots on goal (61; 2.5/gm) and have allowed just 35 corner kicks all season (1.5/gm, with 3 total opp. CKs in last 8 games) … ND is 46-13-3 (.766) in the Waldrum era when facing a top-25/postseason opponent … the Irish have held 19 of the last 20 opponents to 0-1 goals … ND spent six weeks at No. 1, completed the 4th unbeaten regular season in the program’s history and was unbeaten after 20 games for the 4th time (’94, ’97 and ’00 teams went 23-0-1) … ND owns a 28-4 first-half scoring edge … 19 players have started for ND this season (17 with 5-plus GS) … the Irish technically have played 30 games this fall (5-1-0 preseason Brazil trip) and took several days off from training late in the regular season …ND has reached 20 wins for the 9th time in the last 11 seasons … ND was the nation’s final unbeaten/untied team and is 37-1-2 in its last 40 regular-season games … since a rare deficit vs. Pittsburgh on Sept. 24, ND has outscored the opposition 41-5 … the 0-0 game vs. Rutgers on Oct. 22 prevented ND from matching the program’s best start (16-0-0, in ’00) … the Irish have won the BIG EAST regular-season title 8 of 10 times (all but ’98, ’02) … ND has been 1st or 2nd in the NSCAA poll 8 of 11 seasons since ’94 (all but ’99, ’01, ’02; #1 in ’94, ’95, ’96, ’00, ’04).

QUICK ND INDIVIDUAL NOTES – Randy Waldrum is 116-20-5/.840 in six seasons at ND and is one win shy of his 300th overall win as a college coach (299-125-24) … jr. F Katie Thorlakson has scored/assisted on 19 of ND’s last 23 goals, is the 10th player in Div. I women’s soccer ever to reach 20 goals and 20 assists in the same season (21G-21A), has been named player of the year by Sports Illustrated on Campus and combines with sr. D Melissa Tancredi as final-15 candidates for the Hermann Trophy (no other team has a F and D on that list) … jr. Erika Bohn leads the nation with a 0.37 GAA and has allowed just 2 goals in her last 913 minutes of action (0.20) … so. M Jen Buczkowski has 4 GWGs in ND’s last 9 wins … sr. F and All-America candidate Mary Boland suffered a season-ending broken leg in the SCU game (Sept. 7) … Thorlakson elected to remain at ND for the entire ’04 season rather than leaving to play with Canada at the U-19 World Championship (Nov. 10-27) … Thorlakson has combined with Tancredi and sr. F Candace Chapman as ND’s potent “Canadian Connection” while three Chicago-area sophomores – Buczkowski (who opted not to play with U.S. in U-19 Worlds), defensive M Jill Krivacek and D Kim Lorenzen – also are key starters.


THAT WAS THEN … THIS IS NOW – Notre Dame now has played 24 games in each of the past two seasons and owns similar statistical numbers in many categories … the Irish are generating more shots this season but own a lower shooting pct. … the biggest jump has come in corner-kick margin (+103 in ’04, +39 in ’03) … the Irish also have done a better job in shutting down the opponents’ 1st-half offense in ’04 (just 4 GA) … see PDF for full stat comparison of ’03 and ’04


Notre Dame – 1st in goals-against average (0.50, 4th nationally), goals per game (2.68, 16th nationally), shots per game (21.7) and shutouts (15, 1st nationally); 2nd in corner kicks per game (5.8)

Notre Dame Players
Katie Thorlakson – 1st in points (63, 2nd nationally), goals (21, 4th nat.), assists (21, 1st nat.), GWGs (8) and shots (118)
Candace Chapman – 3rd in pts (30) and gls (11), 5th in asts (8), 8th shots (65)
Jen Buczkowski – 2nd in assists (11; 18 in nation), 4th in points (27), 5th in GWGs (4), 11th in goals (8)
Amanda Cinalli – 9th in shots (63), 11th in goals (8)
Annie Schefter – 10th in assists (6)
Erika Bohn – 1st in goals-against avg. (0.37; 1st in nation), 4th in save pct. (.821), 5th in solo shutouts (8)

CRUNCH TIME – Here’s a look at Notre Dame’s all-time postseason records:
• MCC Tournament – 5-0-0 (all neutral)
• BIG EAST Tournament – 21-2-0/.919 (10-0-0 home, 2-1-0 away, 9-1-0 neutral)
• NCAA Tournament – 29-10-1/.738 (24-3 at home/.885, 2-1-1 away, 3-6 neut.)
• Postseason Totals – 55-12-1/.816 (34-3 home/.917, 4-2-1 away, 17-7 neutral)

FIRST-STRIKE WEAPONS – ND owns a 42-1-0 record in its last 43 games when scoring first (2-1 loss to UConn in ’04 BIG EAST title game) … sophomore M Jen Buczkowski has opened the scoring in 5 games this season while freshman F Amanda Cinalli has 4 first-goals (junior F Katie Thorlakson has 3 and senior F Candace Champan 2) … Cinalli and Chapman also have scored to open the scoring for ND in games where the opponent scored first.

TALE OF THE TAPE (see PDF for statistical comparison of ND and Portland)

ND’s NCAA HISTORY (see PDF for charts)

PILOTS NOTES – Portland (20-3-0, 6-1-0 WCC) is ranked 6th in the NSCAA poll and was seeded 5th in the NCAAs, advancing with wins over Weber State (3-0), Colorado (3-0) and Texas (2-0) … the Pilots returned 9 starters and 17 of 21 letterwinners from the 2003 team that went 18-3-2 before advancing to the 3rd round of the ’03 NCAAs (Portland won the ’02 NCAA title) … for additional info. on Portland, see the above Tale of the Tape data and consult

INSIDE THE NUMBERS – As shown in the Tale of the Tape, ND and Portland have fairly similar statistical numbers in most areas … discernable differences include ND’s high shot avg. (22, to UP’s 17) and ND’s +16 avg. shot margin (+9 for the Pilots) … the Irish also have attempted 104 more corner kicks than their opponents (compared to +53 for Portland) … ND has won by 3-plus goals 9 times in `04 (UP has 5) … ND tends to commit more fouls (12/gm, to 8 for UP) and has totaled 14 yellow cards to UP’s 5 … both teams have a veteran core leading the way (ND 3 senior starters and 3 juniors, UP 4 seniors and a junior in the starting lineup) but the Pilots also start 3 freshmen (Amanda Cinalli is ND’s lone freshman starter).

COMMON OPPONENTS – Notre Dame and Portland have faced two common opponents during the 2004 season … ND beat Santa Clara early in the season (5-2 at the ND Classic) while UP lost a lateseason game at SCU (0-1) … ND split a pair of games at UConn (1-0, 1-2 in BIG EAST title game) and then beat the Huskies in the NCAA 3rd round (2-0, at ND) while UP beat the Huskies early in the season at the UConn tournament (3-1).

NCAA SUCCESS STORIES – Notre Dame and Portland have become two of the most successful programs in women’s soccer history, particularly in the past 10 years … both teams are tied for 9th with 12 all-time NCAA appearances … ND is one of five to appear in each of the past 12 NCAA Tournaments (also UNC, UConn, Santa Clara, William & Mary) while Portland is one of six to make the NCAAs 11 of the past 12 years (also UVa, Stanford, Clemson, SMU, Duke) … UP is 5th in all-time quarterfinals (9) and ND is 6th (8), behind UNC (22), UConn (17), SCU (13) and UMass (10) … since ND started its program in ’88, the top-5 quarterfinalists are: UNC (16), SCU (13), UConn (12), UP (9) and ND (8) … UNC leads in all-time NCAA semifinal trips (22), followed by SCU (9), UP (7), UConn (7) and ND (6) … since ’94, only UNC (10) has made more semifinal appearances that UP (7) or ND (6) … since the ND program started in ’88, the semifinal list includes UNC (16), SCU (8), UP (7) and ND (6).

A GREAT RIVALRY – Notre Dame and Portland have fashioned a memorable series between the sister schools, as both are Roman Catholic institutions founded by the Congregation of the Holy Cross … the Irish hold a 6-3-0 lead in the series, with all nine games decided by one goal (five 1-0) and four coming in the NCAAs (the home team has yet to win in the series, 0-7-0) … ND is 0-3-0 at home vs. UP and 4-0-0 vs. the Pilots at Merlo Field, plus two neutral-site games …… the Irish wins over the Pilots include the 2000 win (1-0, on an early Meotis Erikson goal) that elevated the Irish to the No. 1 ranking, two 1-0 wins in the NCAAs (’94 semifinal at UP, ’95 title game at UNC) and a 3-2 win in the ’96 semifinals (at SCU) – plus two other wins at Merlo Field (2-1 in ’94, 1-0 in ’97) … ND’s 4-0-0 mark at Merlo Field stands in stark contrast to the Pilots’ longtime success at the facility (UP has won 89% of its other games at Merlo Field, going 132-14-5) … Portland’s wins at Alumni Field came in ’92 (2-1), in the ’98 NCAA quarterfinals (2-1, on a Jessica Talbot goal in the 88th minute) and at the ’02 ND Classic (1-0, on a late Christine Sinclair goal) … the Irish have won 93% of their other games at Alumni Field (165-11-3), with Michigan (2) being the only other team to post multiple wins over ND at Alumni Field … ND’s 3-2 win over UP in the ’96 NCAA semifinals saw the Irish rally from a 2-0 halftime deficit, thanks to goals from Shannon Boxx, Amy VanLaecke and Monica Gerardo (all in the first 15 minutes of the second half) … the Pilots win over the Irish in the 1998 quarterfinals was the first postseason loss ever for the Irish at Alumni Field (now 34-3-0) … Jenny Heft scored a dramatic game-tying goal in the 73rd minute of that game but Talbot netted the gamewinner with 2:54 left to play (Brooke O’Hanley gave UP the 1-0 lead midway through the first half, with ND holding an 18-12 final shot edge) … in ND’s ’97 visit to Merlo Field, Gerardo scored the game’s only goal to end Portland’s 25-game home unbeaten streak .. the teams battled for 125 minutes in the ’95 title game before ND won 1-0 in sudden death OT, on a free-kick goal by Cindy Daws … the Pilots first win of the series came in ’92, behind goals from Tiffeny Milbrett and Shannon MacMillan (2-1) … the Pilots made a return trip to Alumni Field in ’97 but did not face the Irish, beating Duke and losing to UNC.

IN THE POLLS – This will mark the 8th time in 10 meetings that ND (2nd) and Portland (6th) both are ranked in the NSCAA top-25 poll … the lower-ranked team owns a 3-6-0 record in the series, with those upset wins including: #4 ND over #2 UP, 1-0 in ’95 NCAA title game at UP; #6 UP winning 2-1 at #4 ND in ’98 NCAA quarterfinal and #19 UP winning 1-0 at #6 ND in ’02 … two of those previous wins by the lower-seeded squad saw the teams separated by just two spots in the poll … half of the games in the series have seen both teams ranked 6th or higher in the NSCAA poll (two of the games mentioned above and today’s game, plus the ’96 NCAA semifinal that saw #1 ND beat #3 UP 3-2 and the ’97 game when #2 ND won 1-0 at #3 UP).

THE LAST MEETING (UP 1, ND 0; 9/8/02) – Christine Sinclair’s late goal held up as the only scoring in a game that featured only five combined shots on goal (the Pilots held an 8-4 edge in overall shots, 6-3 in corners) … ND played without one of its top defenders (Vanessa Pruzinsky) while two other key players (D Gudrun Gunnarsdottir and M Kim Carpenter) also played sparingly due to injuries … ND’s Candace Chapman stood out as possibly the best player on the field and went on to earn the ND Classic’s defensive MVP award … Chapman opened the game at central defense – with strong marking of her Canadian national teammate Sinclair – before shifting to her customary outside back position … Sinclair (the tournament’s offensive MVP) struck at the 81:42 mark, after taking a pass from the right side and shaking loose of an Irish defender near the top of the box … the scoring champ of the ’02 U-19 World Championship then ripped a low shot past charging ‘keeper Erika Bohn, with the ball clearing the inside of the right post … ND lost two days earlier to Santa Clara (4-0) and suffered consecutive shutout losses for the first time since ’89 (first back-to-back losses since ’92).

VETERANS OF THE LAST BATTLE – A handful of players from each current ND and UP team played in the previous meeting (`02, at Alumni Field) … five current ND players – G Erika Bohn (3 saves), D Melissa Tancredi and Kate Tulisiak, and F Katie Thorlakson and Candace Chapman – started in that 1-0 Pilots win while five others came off the bench (D Gudrun Gunnarsdottir and Miranda Ford, M Jenny Walz and Sarah Halpenny, F Maggie Manning) … Tancredi still was playing at F at that time while Chapman was the starter at right back and Thorlakson played in the midfield … the five current UP players who started in the ’02 game include F Christine Sinclair (GWG) and Jessica Heller (shot), M Lindsey Huie (2 shots) and D Kristen Moore and Kristen Rogers … Tancredi was a freshman when the teams met at UP’s field in 2000 (that 1-0 win lifted ND to the #1 ranking) but she was sidelined all season with an ACL injury (she did make that trip to Portland with the rest of the team).

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP REUNION – The previous ND-Portland game landed just days after the completion of the 2002 Under-19 World Championship, held in three Canadian cities … that exciting tournament was capped by a 1-0 U.S. win over Canada in the title game, with 47,000 fans in attendance at Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium … Portland’s Christine Sinclair earned the “golden boot” award as the tournament’s top scorer (10 goals, in six games) and formed a potent offensive tandem with ND’s Katie Thorlakson (who played mostly as an attacking midfielder with Canada) … ND’s Candace Chapman also was a starter with Canada, playing mostly right back while also shifting into the central midfield … ND’s Annie Schefter was on track to be a starter for the U.S. team but was sidelined with a season-ending ACL knee injury in the summer of ’02.

FRIEND OR FOE? – ND’s players hail from 13 states, including several west coast players who are former teammates of players on the Portland side … three ND players – 5th-year central D Melissa Tancredi, senior F Candace Chapman and junior F Katie Thorlakson – also are products of the Canadian National Team program, as is Portland senior F Christine Sinclair … Chapman, Thorlakson and Sinclair are past standouts with Canada’s Under-19 National Team (Portland sophomore F Elsa Hume has played with the U-16 and U-17 teams) … ND junior M Annie Schefter and Portland sophomore M Lisa Saari were teammates on the Washington state ODP team (Schefter also has played with the ODP Region IV team alongside Portland sophomore G Cori Alexander and sophomore D Kari Evans) … ND junior F Maggie Manning hails from Lake Oswego, Ore., and played at Jesuit HS (as did UP freshman D Emily Michaelson) … Manning also played vs. two UP players (freshman F Natalie Budge and freshman M Kelsy Cronkite) during their prep days … ND freshman M Ashley Jones played for the Region IV ODP team alongside Kronkite and UP sophomore D Stephanie Lopez … ND sophomore M Jen Buczkowski was a teammate of Lopez, UP freshman F Megan Rapinoe and sophomore F Angie Woznuk with the U.S. Under-19 National Team program … ND sophomore F Molly Iarocci and Evans both are products of the Arizona ODP system and were teammates on the Sereno Golden Eagles club team … ND sophomore D Christie Shaner and junior G Erika Bohn played alongside UP senior M Lindsey Huie at U.S. Under-21 National Team camps in the summer of ’04.

ND IN THE NCAAs – Notre Dame is one of five teams to appear in each of the last 12 NCAA Championships (since ’93, with the others including UNC, UConn, Santa Clara and William & Mary) … the Irish made six trips to the College Cup semifinals in the previous 10 years, including four title-game appearances (’94-’96, ’99) and the 1995 championship season … the Irish own an all-time NCAA Tournament record of 29-10-1 (.738, 2nd-best in NCAA record book), with four losses coming at the hands of UNC in title games (5-0 in ’94, 1-0 in OT in ’96, 2-0 in ’99, 2-1 in ’00) … ND dropped its first-ever NCAA Tournament game to George Mason in 1993 (2-1) while ending the ’97 season with an NCAA semifinal loss to UConn (2-1) and closing ’98 with a 2-1 quarterfinal loss to Portland at Alumni Field … that game and second-round losses to Cincinnati (3-2) and Michigan (1-0) remain ND’s only postseason losses at home (31-3-0; 21-3-0 in the NCAAs) … ND’s 2002 season ended with a third-round NCAA loss at top-ranked Stanford (0-1) … the Irish claimed the 1995 NCAA title with a semifinal win over UNC (1-0) and a triple-OT win over Portland in the title game (1-0) … ND is 23-5-1 in its last 29 overall postseason games (68-21 scoring edge), 28-7-1 in the last 36 (80-22).

IT TAKES TWO – ND’s lone loss of the ’04 season saw the Irish claim a 1-0 lead at UConn in the BIG EAST title game … the Irish then had several cracks at the magical 2-0 cushion that has proven to be insurmountable in the 17-year history of Notre Dame women’s soccer (instead, UConn rallied for the 2-1 win) … ND is 229-0-1 all-time when claiming a 2-0 lead and has won 206 straight games when stretching out to a 2-0 cushion, dating back to Sept. 15, 1991 (when Vanderbilt ultimately forced a 3-3 tie) … there have been only two other games in the program’s history when the Irish gave up a 2-0 lead (but still went on to win): a 4-3 victory over UConn in the ’96 BIG EAST title game (the Irish led 3-0 but the Huskies scored three straight) and a 3-2 win over Duke at a ’93 lateseason tournament in Houston … the last 119 opponents to face a 2-0 deficit vs. the Irish have been unable to even tie the score.

BIG-TIME HELPER – Freshman M Ashley Jones has four assists this season and each has been the primary assist on gamewinning goals … two of those big passes have come in the postseason: on Jen Buczkowski’s goal vs. #19 Boston College in the BIG EAST semifinals and the leftside cross on Candace Chapman’s header last week vs. #15 UConn in the NCAA third round … Jones earlier had set up Buczkowski’s goal vs. #20 BC in the regular season (1-0) and also assisted on Maggie Manning’s early goal in the 3-0 win at Texas Tech … junior F Katie Thorlakson leads the team with 5 GWAs, followed by Jones (4) and Buczkowski (3).

TRENDY – Here’s a look at some of the ND players’ scoring and games-played trends (see PDF):

TRUE WINNERS – Junior F Katie Thorlakson has scored or assisted on 13 of ND’s 22 gamewinning goals this season (8 GWG, 5 GWA) for a team-leading 21 gamewinning points (37% of the team’s total GWP) … next on that list are sophomore M Jen Buczkowski (4 GWG, 3 GWA, 11 GWP) and freshman F Amanda Cinalli (3 GWG, 1 GWA, 7 GWP).

MINUTE-BY-MINUTE – ND’s sophomore class includes three Chicago-area starters and two of those longtime teammates – defensive M Jill Krivacek and D/M Kim Lorenzen – have logged the exact same minute total (1,719).

HOME IS WHERE THE WINS ARE – A win vs. Portland would give Notre Dame its sixth unbeaten season at home (would be 14-0-1) and first since the 2000 team went 15-0-0 at Alumni Field … others are ’91 (10-0-0), `93 (8-0-0), `94 (8-0-0), `96 (14-0-0) and `97 (11-0-1).

BRAZIL BOOST – Notre Dame’s 2000 team had a preseason training trip to Brazil and went on to claim the No. 1 ranking before advancing to the NCAA semifinals … the ’04 team (10 days in Brazil, 6 weeks at #1) is one win shy of duplicating that pattern … the Aug. 10-19 trip (based in Campinas, Brazil) featured a 5-0-1 record and 16-3 scoring edge vs. top semi-pro women’s teams from the Sao Paulo area … the games attracted local spectators and included traditional exchange of gifts, plus group photos … the Irish enjoyed great camaraderie at the five-star Vitoria Hotel and soaked in the atmosphere at first-division Brazilian men’s games at Ponta Preta and Guarani … meals included many exotic and tasty forms of pizza and the unique Brazilian steakhouses with table-top carvings of a variety of entrees … leading scorers on the trip included senior F/D Candace Chapman (4G), junior F Katie Thorlakson (6A) and the freshman duo of F/M Jannica Tjeder (3G-2A) and M Ashley Jones (2G-3A).

FRESHMAN FOCUS – The rookie tandem of freshman F Amanad Cinalli and M Ashley Jones have played key roles in all three games vs. UConn this season … Cinalli scored late for the 1-0 regular-season win and Jones had her only goal of the season to open the scoring in the BIG EAST title game (before adding the big assist on Candace Chapman’s gamewinning goal vs. the Huskies in the NCAA third round).

BALANCE OF POWER – Despite the absence of several top offensive players, ND ranks 16th in the nation with 2.68 goals/gm and is 4th with a 0.50 team goals-against avg., dominating opposing offenses by allowing just 131 total shots (5.5/gm), 61 shots on goal (2.5/gm) and 35 corner kicks (1.5/gm) … the Irish also rank 1st in the nation with 15 shutouts … ND, UNC, Virginia and Princeton are the only teams ranked 16th or better in scoring and GAA … in ’03, ND finished among the top-5 for scoring (3rd; 3.04 goals/gm) and GAA (5th; 0.49).

POSTSEASON AWARDS BEGIN TO ROLL IN – The past few weeks have seen several Notre Dame players recognized on the conference, regional and national level:
• 5th-year D Melissa Tancredi and junior F Katie Thorlakson are among 15 final candidates for the Hermann Trophy (player-of-the-year) … Thorlakson also was named national player of the year by Sports Illustrated on Campus and was recognized by College Sports Television as the CSTV National Student-Athlete of the Week (for all sports) after totaling 6G-4A vs. Michigan and St. John’s.
• Junior G Erika Bohn, junior M Annie Schefter and sophomore M Jen Buczkowski were named to the Academic All-District V. first team (as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America), with Bohn then earning 1st team Academic All-America honors while Schefter was named to the 2nd team … sophomore D Christie Shaner was a 2nd team Academic All-District V. selection.
• ND became the first team since ’95 to sweep the top three BIG EAST awards – offensive (Thorlakson) and defensive (Tancredi) player and coach (Randy Waldrum) of the year … Buczkowski and freshman F Amanda Cinalli joined Tancredi and Thorlakson on the 1st team all-BIG EAST squad while three others were named 3rd team: Shaner, sr. F Candace Chapman and so. M Jill Krivacek.

DYNAMIC DUO – Two members of ND’s Canadian Connection – 5th-year central D Melissa Tancredi and junior F Katie Thorlakson – are among the 15 final candidates named for the Missouri Athletic Club’s Hermann Trophy … ND is the only team with a D and F on that elite list … Portland (junior F Christine Sinclair, junior M Lindsey Huie) and UNC (junior F Lindsay Tarpley, sophomore F Heather O’Reilly, junior F Lori Chalupny) also have multiple players on the final 15 … Tancredi (and former Irish F Amy Warner) also were on the list of 2003 final-15 candidates for the Hermann Trophy … five others who have returned to the final ballot in ’04 include Tarpley, Chalupny, Stanford senior G Nicole Barnhart, Tennessee senior D Keeley Dowling and Penn State junior F Tiffany Weimer … Tancredi and Dowling are the only D among the 2004 final-15 … others on the list include two BIG EAST players (UConn senior F Kristen Graczyk and Rutgers senior M Carli Lloyd), plus Hawaii junior F Natasha Kai, Santa Clara senior M Leslie Osborne and Nebraska sophomore M Brittany Timko … Thorlakson, Sinclair and Timko (all products of the Canadian National Team program) are among nine of the final-15 candidates who are set to return in 2005 … three finalists will be announced in early Dec., with the winner announced on Jan. 7 at the MAC … two members of the ND men’s program – senior D Kevin Goldthwaite and Jack Stewart – are among the final 15 for the men’s Hermann Trophy, making ND the only school with multiple candidates for both awards.

ACADEMIC ELITE – Junior G Erika Bohn (Brookfield, Conn.) has continued the Notre Dame women’s soccer program’s tradition of producing first team Academic All-Americans while her classmate, M Annie Schefter (Yakima, Wash.), has been named to the 2004 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America second team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America … the ND women’s soccer program’s unmatched tradition of Academic All-America excellence includes 15 selections during the past 10 seasons – more than double the total from any other team (North Carolina has the second-most in the last 10 years, with seven) … ND and Drake (2) were the only schools with multiple players named to the 1st or 2nd team (Saint Louis and Tennessee had two players among the three Academic All-America teams, each with a 2nd- and 3rd-teamer) … Bohn is the only non-senior on the 1st team and joined Texas F Kelly Wilson and Washington D Clare Rustad as the only 1st-teamers from teams that qualified for the ’04 NCAAs … Bohn is one of just six members of the 2004 Academic All-Americans to repeat the honor … Schefter was one of six non-seniors on the 2nd team and should be a strong contender for 1st-team honors in ’05 (she has the option of applying for a 5th year of eligibility in ’06).

Bohn – a 2003 second team Academic All-American who carries a 3.63 cumulative GPA, as an art studio major – currently owns a 0.37 season goals-against avg. that ranks best among ‘keepers from 306 Division I teams and is just shy of LaKeysia Beene’s team record (0.36, set in ’97) … since allowing a goal at Georgetown, the six-foot Bohn has surrendered just two goals spanning her last 913 minutes of game action (0.20 GAA in that 11-game stretch) … Bohn was an NSCAA 2nd team All-Great Lakes Region pick in `03 (TBA in ’04) and called into U.S. Under-21 National Team camps in summer of ’04 … she is a 2nd-year member of the Academic Honors Program that pairs high achievers with faculty mentors and is a team leader in Life Skills community service programs, including Soccer Cycle Challenge (benefiting cancer research), Alex’s Lemonade Stand (helping children with cancer) and Christmas Party with pediatric oncology patients … she and her family currently reside in Rutland, Vt. (they moved after she completed high school).

Schefter – a 3.73 student as a double-major in pre-professional studies and psychology – has been a key to ND’s domination of the midfield while ranking 5th on the team in scoring with 14 points (4G-6A) … a former member of the U.S. Under-19 National Team, she missed the ’02 season due to a summer knee injury but has made a strong return to appear in all 48 games the past two seasons … her strong all-around play has helped the Irish dominate possession while rolling up a 65-12 season scoring edge, plus 520-131 in shots (avg. 22-5), 261-61 in shots on goal (11-2.5) and 139-35 in corners (8-1.5) while facing just five deficits totaling 89 minutes … her ’04 highlights include the goal that beat #11 Stanford (1-0) and assists in the 5-2 win over #2 Santa Clara and the NCAA win over Eastern Illinois … she opened the ’04 season with points in each of first four games (2G-2A) and is a key part of ND’s highly-effective set-play offense … she also was invited to participate in the Academic Honors Program (faculty mentoring) this year.

ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICA TRADITION – The ND women’s soccer team’s previous Academic All-America history includes: G Jen Renola and F Amy Van Laecke in ’95 (both 2nd team) and again in ’96 (both 1st team); F Jenny Streiffer in ’97 (1st team) and again in ’98 (2nd team); D Vanessa Pruzinsky (1st team in ’00, ’01, ’03); F Meotis Erikson in ’00 (3rd team); D Monica Gonzalez in ’01 (2nd team); and the ’03 trio of Pruzinsky, G Erika Bohn (2nd team) and F Mary Boland (2nd team) … Renola also was recognized as the ’96 CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year for fall and winter “at-large” sports while Pruzinsky was the 2003 CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year for women’s soccer (that award superseded the at-large program, starting in ’01 … Bohn joins Renola, Van Laecke, Streiffer and Pruzinsky as the program’s fifth player to post multiple Academic All-America seasons …she will return in ’05 with the chance to join fellow Connecticut native Pruzinsky as the program’s only three-time recipients (Pruzinsky graduated with a 4.0 cumulative GPA, becoming just the third ND chemical engineering major ever to accomplish that feat and the first to do so in nearly 30 years) … five ND players now have combined for seven first team Academic All-America honors, with the Irish program producing at least one first-teamer in five of the past nine years … at least one ND player has been named Academic All-America in eight of the past 10 seasons (all but ’99 and ’02) and the program easily could have laid claim to honorees in the other two years as well (Streiffer somehow was passed over in her 1999 All-America season while an injury to Pruzinsky prevented her from earning her third straight Academic All-America honor in ’02) … ND’s ’03 squad was the first in women’s soccer history ever to produce three Academic All-Americans and the ’04 Irish team would have matched that feat if not for the early-season broken leg suffered by Boland (disqualifying her, based on the required 50% of games played) … Boland would have been a strong contender for Academic All-American of the Year, due to her 3.90 cumulative GPA as a psychology major (4.0 in fall of ’03) and status as a first team all-BIG EAST player in ’03.

IRISH UNMATCHED IN THE CLASSROOM – Notre Dame’s 2004 Irish team actually is overflowing with players who own strong Academic All-America credentials (the CoSIDA team recognizes “starters or top reserves” who have a GPA of at least 3.20), with others (in addition to the four mentioned above) including senior central back Gudrun Gunnarsdottir (3.31, finance) and sophomore right back Kim Lorenzen (3.53, business) … as a group, the ND women’s soccer team posted a 3.32 team GPA in the ’04 spring semester while seeing 22 of 25 players register a semester GPA of 3.0-plus (with 13 at 3.4-plus) … in addition to their dominating play that has helped the Irish again total more goals this season (65) than opponent shots on goal (61), the four veteran starters on the back line – sophomore left back Christie Shaner, Gunnarsdottir, Lorenzen and fifth-year central back Melissa Tancredi – have combined for a 3.28 cumulative GPA, spanning 18 combined semesters of study at Notre Dame.

THORLAKSON HITS RARE 20-20 MILESTONE – Junior F Katie Thorlakson has joined an elite list of 10 all-time Division I players to reach 20 goals and 20 assists in a season … six of those players – former ND great Cindy Daws (26G-20A, ’96), the UNC trio of Mia Hamm (32-33, ’92), Robin Confer (20-22, ’97) and Lindsay Tarpley (23-27, ’03), UConn’s Sarah Whalen (21-22, ’97) and Santa Clara’s Mandy Clemens (24-23, ’99) – each received some type of national player-of-the-year recognition during their 20-20 seasons … others on that short list include another former Irish player, Jenny Streiffer (22G-22A, ’96), four-time All-American and UC Santa Barbara legend Carin Jennings (20G-26A, ’86) and UNC Greensboro’s Kati Kantanen (24G-20A) … Thorlakson and Tarpley are the only 20-20 players in the past five seasons … her goal last week vs. UConn made Thorlakson the 6th player ever to reach 21G-21A (joining Hamm, Tarpley, Whalen, Clemens and Streiffer in that distinction) … by adding two more goals and one assist, she would be the 5th to reach 22G-22A (all of the above except Whalen) … with three more goals and two assists, Thorlakson would join Hamm, Tarpley and Clemens as the only “23-23” players … and with four more goals and three assists, she would rank alongside Hamm as the only Division I players ever to reach 24G-24A in the same season.

PRIMETIME POINTS – Sophomore defensive midfielder Jill Krivacek has totaled 2G-1A (5 points) in five career NCAA Tournament games (3 GS), compared to 1G-4A (6 points) in the rest of her Notre Dame career (42 GP/23 GS) … the biggest of those points came on the goal vs. Wisconsin (1-0), when she headed in a Katie Thorlakson corner kick with just 53 seconds left in regulation.

LAST-MINUTE HEROES – The first 379 games in ND women’s soccer history had seen the Irish win in the final minute (regulation or OT) just twice but it then happed twice more in the next 10 games … in fact, Jen Buczkowski’s goal at Georgetown on Oct. 10 (2-1), with 44 seconds left in regulation, made her the first ND player since ’94 to win a game by scoring in the final minute … then, in the 2nd round of the NCAAs, Buczkowski’s longtime club and ODP teammate Jill Krivacek scored with 53 seconds left for the thrilling 1-0 win over Wisconsin … Buczkowski had not registered a game-winning goal in her first 37 games with the Irish but the score at GU sparked a 7-game stretch in which she totaled 4 GWGs … Krivacek now has just three goals in her ND career but two are GWGs and the third came in the ’03 NCAAs … even after the recent fantastic finishes, just five of the program’s 389 all-time games have featured a last-minute GWG (by either team) – and GU’s Harbin Field has been the site for two of them … Buczkowski’s goal helped avenge the heartbreaking loss suffered by the Irish on their previous visit to GU … the Hoyas won that day, 4-3, on a goal with 24 seconds left in regulation, in a game that also remains the only time in the last 10 seasons that the Irish have scored three goals and failed to win (111-1-0) … the previous ND player to win a game in the final minute of play was Michelle McCarthy, whose goal with 25 seconds left in OT (119:35) completed a wild comeback vs. William & Mary, 4-3 … Jody Hartwig’s goal in the 85th minute had forged a 2-2 tie for the Irish in that game but the Tribe scored first in OT (non-sudden death) before future All-American Rosella Guerrero answered with another tying goal … the only other Irish player to score a last-minute GWG was future All-American Ragen Coyne, vs. Wright State in the 1992 Midwest Conference championship game (89:24).

HOME SWEET HOME – Notre Dame owns a 165-14-3 all-time record (.915) at Alumni Field, including 47-10-1 vs. top-25 teams … 8 of ND’s last 10 home losses have been by a single goal … ND went unbeaten at home in the 2004 regular season (9-0-1), marking the 9th time in the 15-year history of Alumni Field that ND has not lost a regular-season home game (all but ’90, ’92, ’95, ’02, ’03) … the Irish have won nearly 92% of their all-time regular-season home games at Alumni Field (133-11-3, .915), including four seasons with one loss … in 10 of the last 11 seasons (all but ’03), the Irish have suffered 0-1 regular-season losses at home (97-7-3, .921 in that 11-year stretch) … ND has added four postseason home wins for a 13-0-1 home record that includes a 44-6 scoring edge (avg. 3.1-0.4), plus 342-51 in shots (24-4), 172-27 in shots on goal (12-2) and 90-19 in corner kicks (6-1) … top scorers at Alumni Field in ’04 include junior F Katie Thorlakson (16G-15A, 47 pts, 3.4 ppg, 7 GWG), senior F Candace Chapman (9G-4A, 22 pts), sophomore M Jen Buczkowski (4G-8A, 16 pts, GWG) and junior M Annie Schefter (4G-5A, 13 pts, 2 GWG) … Thorlakson has totaled 20 points in her last five home games (7G-6A) and has totaled 65 points at Alumni Field over the past two seasons (23G-19A, 9 GWG in 30 GP) … Schefter has scored all 8 of her career goals (4 GWG) at home while Buczkowski has registered 8 of her 10 career goals and 30 of her 39 career points with the Irish in the confines of Alumni Field.


ND RECORD BOOK (see PDF for Thorlakson’s rankings)

THORLAKSON BUILDS PLAYER-OF-THE-YEAR RESUME – Here’s a look at junior forward Katie Thorlakson’s ever-growing player-of-the-year credentials (an honor she already has received from Sports Illustrated On Campus):
NATIONAL LEADER – ranks 1st in nation in assists (21), 2nd in points (63) and 4th in goals (21, 2nd among players from top-25 teams)
MULTIPLE THREAT – equally dangerous as finisher and set-up player, as one of 10 players in NCAA history (3rd from ND) with 20G-20A in same season (21-21) … currently nation’s only player with more than 15G-15A … also one of 10 ND players to reach 30G-30A in career (35G-35A; reached 30-30 in 62 GP, 4th-quickest in ND history)
RISING TO THE CHALLENGE – has helped overcome loss of several top offensive players due to graduation, injuries and national-team duty (ND’s other starting F are freshman Amanda Cinalli and senior Candace Chapman, a converted D coming back from ACL injury)
RUNAWAY – her 63 points are more than double team’s 2nd-leading scorer (30)
PERFECT TEN – named CSTV National Student-Athlete of the Week after setting ND record with 10 pts in game vs. St. John’s (4G-2A, also tied ND record for goals in gm/most since ’97)
BIG WINNER – has tied ND record for gamewinning goals in a season (8, by Rosella Guerrero in ’94), with no other player on ’04 team having more than 4 GWGs … also ranks 8th in ND record book with 14 career GWGs, 5 shy of Jenny Heft’s record
ON A ROLL – has totaled 29 points (15G-9A) in current 8-game point streak (1G-1A vs. Seton Hall, 2G-2A vs. Michigan, 4G-2A vs. St. John’s, 1G vs. BC, 1A vs. UConn, 1G-2A vs. EIU, 1A vs. WIS, 1G vs. UConn), after rare 4-game point “slump”
PULLING HER WEIGHT – has played role in nearly 70% of team’s goals in ’04(42 of 65), with many other goals coming with her on the bench cheering the reserves
SIX-PACK – first ND player ever to score or assist on team’s first five goals in a game (in ’04 opener vs. Baylor and again vs. #4 Santa Clara) … went one better by having a hand in each of first six scores vs. St. John’s, yielding even more impressive streak of 12 straight Irish goals in which she scored or assisted (now 18 of 21, dating back to 2nd goal in 3-1 win over SHU)
SHARPSHOOTER – owns .178 shot pct. and is averaging 5.6 shots per goal (rest of team is just .111/9.0) … also converting 1G every 3.1 shots on goal (21 of 65)
RECORD PACE – averaging 2.63 pts/gm in ’04 and would total 71 points over full season of 27 games (ND record is 72 points by ’96 national player-of-the-year Cindy Daws)
PRIMETIME PERFORMER – has totaled 16 pts (6G-4A) in seven ’04 games vs. top-25 teams, including 3G-2A vs. #4 Santa Clara (only player in nation with 8-plus pts vs. top-25 team) … also has racked up 20 pts (7G-6A) through 6 postseason games this season, besting the ND record for pts in one postseason (Anne Makinen, 8G-3A in ’97) … no other players in ND history have more than 15 points in one postseason.
PILE-O-POINTS – her 63 points rank 3rd in ND history (most since ’98) and well beyond her combined total from ’02 and ’03 (42) … joins Cindy Daws (72; ’96), Jenny Streiffer (66; ’96) and Jenny Heft (61; ’98) as only ND players with 60-plus pts in season … her 21A rank 21st in NCAA history and 6th at ND (no ND player other than NCAA career assist leader Holly Manthei has more than 22A in a season) … her 21G are 7th in ND single-season history.
CENTURY MARK – her 105 career pts would rank near top of many school’s record books but she is 14th in ND career scoring (35G-35A), still 10G and 6A away from those ND top-10 lists
BIG GAMES – only player from top-25 team with 8-plus pts in game … one of two players in nation to post 8-plus pts in multiple ’04 gms (only player with 4G in a game and 3A in another)
BIG EAST’S BEST – first ND player named BIG EAST offensive player of year … 3-time BE player of week: 2G-4A vs. Baylor and EIU (Aug. 30); 3G-2A vs. #13 Stanford and #4 SCU (Sept. 6); 1G-1A vs. #20 WVU and Providence (Oct. 4), no award final week (6G-4A vs. Mich. and SJU) … named to Soccer Buzz/Soccer America national teams of week (Aug. 30, Sept. 6)
WARMUP – totaled most regular-season goals (13) by ND player since ’99 (Jenny Heft, 16) … 3rd ND player to reach 14G-14A in reg. season (10th ND history with 43 reg.-season pts)
FINDING THE NET – posted 5-game goal streak from Sept. 19-Oct. 3 (4 GWGs in that stretch)
CONFERENCE CALL – leads BIG EAST in points, goals, assists, GWGs and total shots (118)
RACKING ‘EM UP – has posted games with 10 pts (4G-2A , SJU), 8 pts (3G-2A, SCU), 7 pts (2G-3A, Baylor) and 6 pts (2G-2A, Michigan), with 5 multi-goal games
REPEAT OFFENDER – joined Jenny Streiffer (’96) as only ND players with 8-plus pts in multiple games of same season (Monica Gerardo only other player to do in career) … first ND player with 3-plus goals in multiple games of season since Jenny Heft’s three hat tricks in ’98
OL’ RELIABLE – has appeared in 67 straight games with ND (since ’02 U-19 World Champ.)
HOME SWEET HOME – has 65 points in 29 games at Alumni Field during past two seasons (23G-19A, 9 GWG), including 47 pts in 14 home games this season (16G-15A, 7 GWG)
HOT CORNER – 8 of her 21 assists in ’04 have come on corner-kick services (4 postseason)


Santa Clara Head Coach Jerry Smith – “(Thorlakson) is a player with international experience and she can raise her level to whatever level it needs to be. Good forwards can be quiet for periods of a game and then turn it up. I’m a coach that doesn’t emphasize the physical stature of a player. So I think Katie is an example of why you don’t have to be the biggest or the fastest. She has a nice combination of determination, grit and skillfulness. She has a great feel for the game. She reminds me of a player I used to watch in the ’70s, he played for Germany – Gurd Muller. He was a very small forward but was very crafty and sneaky. If you research Gurd Muller, you will know that’s a huge compliment to Katie. She is a terrific player and we have a lot of respect for her.”

Wisconsin Head Coach Dean Duerst (asked to compare Thorlakson and the nation’s points leader, Tiffany Weimer of Penn State) – “They are very comparable and outstanding goalscorers. Weimer has some people around her that play her through a little bit more forward. She scores a lot more goals on just breakaways and she kind of just hides out there whereas Katie is very involved in every aspect of Notre Dame’s game. … They are two of the premier players that I’ve seen in the past few years in the country.”

Eastern Illinois Head Coach Stave Ballard – “Thorlakson is dynamic and does so many things. She knows the game well, she’s technical, she’s quick and she can do it 1-v-1 but she also shares the ball and that’s so nice to see. She is a complete player and I just love watching her play. It’s fortunate in soccer that you don’t have to be 6-10 to be a dominant player, even on the men’s side you see players who are 5-5 or 5-7 who are dominant players. And (Thorlakson) is great in the air. She is 5-3 but she can get up with the best of them. She reads the flight of the ball. There are so many things she adds to that team and it’s a pleasure to watch that on the field.”

ND Head Coach Randy Waldrum – “Candace Chapman is readjusting to forward and Amanda Cinalli is still a young kid. Sometimes they aren’t in sync with Katie and we have to try different things. That all shows what Katie does because there have been several games where she’s had to carry the load. She is a tremendous model for the other kids to see, to play with her and see how she handles different situations. It amazes me how much she fights people off. She has been double- and triple-teamed the past month. That all makes her stats even more incredible. Most scoring players up front just score goals and don’t do anything else but Katie is in the game 90 minutes and she brings others in. You rarely find a player with those kind of stats on both sides, with goals and assists.”

• Randy Waldrum received an unprecedented fourth BIG EAST coach-of-the-year award (also ’99, ’00, ’03; no other coach has more than two) … he also was the 1998 Big 12 coach of the year (at Baylor) and twice was named Missouri Valley Conference men’s soccer coach of the year at Tulsa (’91, ’93) … Waldrum’s 23 coaching seasons include five NSCAA regional coach-of-the-year honors.
• ND’s seven all-BIG EAST selections were nearly double the highest total from any other team (four schools each had four honorees).
• Junior G Erika Bohn – despite now leading the nation with a BIG EAST-best 0.39 goals-against average – again was overlooked for the BIG EAST awards (she was an NSCAA 2nd team all-region pick in ’03 but was not named all-BIG EAST).
• Melissa Tancredi is the third player to repeat as BIG EAST defensive player of the year, joining former Notre Dame great Jen Grubb (’98, ’99) and UConn’s Sara Whalen (’95, ’96)
• Katie Thorlakson amazingly is the first ND player ever named BIG EAST offensive player of the year, despite the fact that former M Cindy Daws (’96) and Anne Makinen (’00) earned the Hermann Trophy while others such as four-time All-American Holly Manthei (the NCAA all-time assists leader) and forward Jenny Streiffer (who joined Mia Hamm as the only women’s soccer players ever to reach 70 career goals and 70 assists) likewise could have preceded Thorlakson as BIG EAST offensive player-of-the-year recipients.
• Thorlakson followed Tancredi’s ’03 lead as the only players ever to receive a major BIG EAST women’s soccer award after not being all-BIG EAST previously in her career.
• Candace Chapman holds the unique distinction of earning all-BIG EAST honors at multiple positions in her career, after being a 1st-team selection as a freshman and sophomore at right back (she also was the 2002 BIG EAST defensive player of the year).
• Jen Buczkowski follows in the footsteps of three all-time greats – Daws (`95, ’96), Makinen (`97-’00) and Manthei (`95-’97) – as the fourth ND midfielder to earn 1st team all-BIG EAST
• Thorlakson, Amanda Cinalli and Chapman are the fourth trio of forwards from the same team to earn all-BIG EAST honors, including Streiffer, Monica Gerardo (both 1st team) and Amy Van Laecke (2nd team) in 1996 followed by Jenny Heft, Gerardo (both 1st team) and Streiffer (2nd team) in ’98 … UConn produced three 1st-team forwards in 1995 (Jana Carabino, Kerry Connors, Christy Rowe).
• Thorlakson and Tancredi pulled off the offensive/defensive double, achieved just twice previously in the 10-year history of the BIG EAST women’s soccer awards (by Connors and Whalen with the ’95 and ’96 UConn teams) … Len Tsintaris also was the 1995 coach of the year, the only previous time that a BIG EAST team produced the offensive, defensive and coach awards in the same season.
• Christe Shaner has, in the words of Waldrum, been ND’s “most consistent defender” in 2004 but she failed to improve on her 2nd team all-BIG EAST from 2003, instead slipping to the 3rd team … the ’04 first team all-BIG EAST selections included seven forwards, two midfielders and just one defender (Tancredi).
• Irish players now have combined to win six of the last eight BIG EAST defensive player-of-the-year awards … ND’s previous recipients include former greats Kate Sobrero (’97) and Grubb (’98, ’99), plus Chapman in ’01 and Tancredi in ’03.
• Cinalli is ND’s eighth freshman ever to be a first-team all-BIG EAST selection, with the others including Gerardo (’95), Streiffer (’96), Grubb (’96), Makinen (’97), Fs Meotis Erikson (’97) and Amy Warner (’00), and Chapman (’01) … two others – M Shannon Boxx (’95) and Shaner – were 2nd team all-BIGE AST picks as freshmen.
• ND produced a pair of 1st-team forwards for the second consecutive season (Warner and Mary Boland in ’03), with no other BIG EAST team including two 1st-team forwards since 1999 (when Streiffer and Heft were so honored).
• 22 ND players now have combined for 38 first team all-BIG EAST honors since ’95, with that group including 7 defenders combining 13 first-team awards, 4 midfielders (10 awards), 8 forwards (12 awards) and 3 goalkeepers.
• Jill Krivacek’s 3rd-team honor fittingly recognizes one of several ND players (such as sophomore D Kim Lorenzen, senior D Gudrun Gunnarsdottir and junior M Annie Schefter) who might be among the top players on other BIG EAST teams.

NOTRE DAME PLAYER QUICK-FACT SHEET (see PDF for stats and notes on the ND regulars)

WALDRUM NEARING 300TH OVERALL WIN – Sixth-year ND head coach Randy Waldrum posted his 200th career win as a Division I women’s head coach in the 2-1 game vs. Miami on Nov. 2, 2003, and recently registered his 100th win at Notre Dame in the 3-0 game at Texas Tech on Sept. 12 … Waldrum also coached eight seasons as college men’s soccer head coach and is two wins shy of his next milestone: 300 combined wins as a men’s and women’s college head coach (299-125-24/.694, in 23 seasons) … Waldrum now owns a 223-70-17 mark (.747) in 15 combined seasons as the women’s head coach at Tulsa, Baylor and Notre Dame … the Irish are 115-20-5 (.839) in the Waldrum era …Waldrum repeated as BIG EAST coach of the year in 2000 and became the first three-time BIG EAST women’s soccer coach of the year (in ’03) before winning the award again in ’04 … in ’99, he became the only coach in the history of the NCAA women’s soccer championship to lead a team to the title game in his first season as that team’s head coach … he was the fourth 1st-year coach to take his team to the NCAA semifinals, beating top-ranked and unbeaten Santa Clara in San Jose … his women’s soccer record includes 61-36-9 in six years at Tulsa, 46-14-3 in three seasons at Baylor … Waldrum ranks 8th among active women’s coaches for career win pct. (min. 10 Div. I seasons).

SCOUTING THE IRISH – The 2004 Notre Dame squad features 23 former letterwinners and 10 with significant starting experience, among them senior F/D Candace Chapman (missed ’03 season due to injury) … the Irish spent most of ’03 ranked No. 2 in the nation and raced out to an 18-0-1 record before losing to Michigan in the regular-season finale (3-2), Boston College in the BIG EAST semifinals (2-1) and Michigan again in the 2nd round of the NCAAs (1-0, with UM converting its only shot on goal) … returning starters included senior Mary Boland (Academic All-American, 12G-4A in ’03; out for ’04 after broken leg vs. SCU on Sept. 5) and junior Katie Thorlakson (Canadian U-19 National Team; 10G-11A in ’03) at the forward positions, plus a pair of proven midfielders who are former U.S. U-19 National Team standouts – junior Annie Schefter (4G-5A in ’03) and sophomore Jen Buczkowski (4G-6A in ’03) – to go along with junior G Erika Bohn (Academic All-American; 0.49 GAA, 967-minute shutout streak in ’03) and three defenders: 5th-year central D Melissa Tancredi (All-American; 4G-5A in ’03) and sophomore outside backs Christie Shaner (’03 BIG EAST rookie of the year, 1G-3A) and Kim Lorenzen (20 GS in ’03; also has played M in ’04) … other top returners included senior D Gudrun Gunnarsdottir (Icelandic National Team), sophomore M/F Lizzie Reed (2G-1A in ’03) and sophomore defensive M Jill Krivacek (2G-3A in ’03) … the four-member ’03 senior class included F Amy Warner (All-American; 37G-25A career, 10G-12A in ’03) and Amanda Guertin (48G-27A in career, 11G-6A in ’03), attacking M Kimberly Carpenter (6G-5A in ’03) and left back Vanessa Pruzinsky (94 career GS) … ND’s ’03 domination included 20 more goals (73) than opponent shots on goal (53) … ND’s freshman class was rated No. 2 by Soccer Buzz, 4th by Soccer America … four freshmen had impressive debuts on the preseason Brazil trip: F Amanda Cinalli (prep All-American, U.S. U-17 National Team), F/M Jannica Tjeder (Finland U-21 National Team), M Ashley Jones and G Lauren Karas … top scorers in Brazil (5-0-1; 16-3 scoring edge) included Chapman (4G), Thorlakson (6A), Tjeder (3G-2A) and Jones (2G-3A) … leading scorers after 24 GP: Thorlakson (21G-21A), Chapman (11G-8A), Buczkowski (8G-11A), Cinalli (8G-5A), Schefter (4G-5A).

BIG-GAME PLAYERS – Notre Dame has won more than 75 percent of its “big games” during the Randy Waldrum era (’99-’04), posting a 46-13-3 record (.766) when facing an NSCAA top-25 or postseason opponent.

CONFERENCE CALL – Last week’s win in the NCAA third-round game vs. UConn made Notre Dame +100 in the won/loss columns vs. BIG EAST teams, since joining the conference in 1995 … the Irish are 110-10-3 (.907) in all games vs. BIG EAST teams over the past 10 seasons (’95-’04), including 87-7-2 in the regular season (.917), 21-2-0 in the BIG EAST tournament (.913) and 2-1-0 in the NCAAs … UConn (4) remains the only BIG EAST team to beat the Irish more than once since ’95 … the Irish are 59-1-1 in home games vs. BIG EAST teams, with the 0-0 tie v. Rutgers on Oct. 22 ending a string of 53 straight home wins over BIG EAST teams since a 5-4 OT loss to UConn in ’95 (now 56-0-1 in last 57 BIG EAST home games, with a 254-18 scoring edge, 39 shutouts, 15 with 1 GA).

VS. THE FIELD – ND faced eight of the ’04 NCAA Tournament teams during the ’04 regular season and BIG EAST Tournament, going 9-1-0 – with wins over Eastern Illinois (3-0), Stanford (1-0), Santa Clara (5-2), at UConn (1-0), at West Virginia (3-1), at Villanova (1-0), vs. Boston College (1-0, 2-0 BET) and at Michigan (4-0), plus 2-1 BIG EAST final loss at UConn … ND’s top ’04 scorers in reg.-season games vs. teams from the NCAA field: junior F Katie Thorlakson (7G-7A, 21 pts, GWG, 10 GS) , sophomore M Jen Buczkowski (5G-3A, 13 pts, 3 GWG, 10 GS), senior F Candace Chapman (3G-2A, 8 pts, 10 GP/5 GS), freshman F Amanda Cinalli (2G-3A, 7 pts, 2 GWG, 10 GP/9 GS) … the Irish compiled a 22-5 scoring edge vs. the above NCAA Tournament teams (186-65 shot edge, 51-25 in corners) … 3 of Buczkowski’s 4 GWGs and half of her 26 pre-NCAA points came vs. NCAA Tournament teams.

20-SOMETHING – Notre Dame has reached the 20-win plateau for the ninth time in the past 11 seasons … the 1996 team racked up an ND-record 24 wins, with 23 victories in 1994, ’97 and ’00, 21 wins in ’95, ’98 and ’99, and 20 Ws in 2003.

NET ZERO – Junior G Erika Bohn has surged to 1st in the nation with a 0.39 goals-against average, within range of the ND record of 0.36 set by LaKeysia Beene in ’97 … Bohn’s 0.70 career GAA is just shy of Jen Renola’s 0.69 for 3rd in ND history (also behind Liz Wagner’s 0.57 and Beene’s 0.62) … she had a 639-minute shutout streak snapped late in the BIG EAST title game vs. UConn (2-1 loss) but now has allowed just those 2 goals in her last 823 minutes of action (0.22 GAA in that span, dating back to the Oct. 10 game at Georgetown) … Bohn is 48-5-2 in her last 55 overall decisions with the Irish (since 3-2 loss to BYU on 10/19/02), allowing just 26 goals in that 54-game stretch (33 with 0 GA, 16 with 1 GA) … her 61 official starts at ND (in fall games) include 36 in which she has not allowed a goal, 15 with one goal allowed, 4 with two goals allowed and just 5 with three-plus goals (3-4 at Georgetown, 0-3 vs. West Virginia, 1-3 vs. Purdue and 2-3 vs. BYU in ’02, plus 2-3 vs. Michigan in ’03) … since the BYU game, Bohn has limited the opponent to 0-1 goals in 46 of her last 50 fall games (35 with 0 GA, 11 with 1 GA, 2-1 loss to BC, 3-2 loss to UM, 5-2 win over Santa Clara, 2-1 loss at UConn) … as a team, ND has risen to 4th on the GAA charts (0.52, behind Princeton (0.39), Stanford (0.43) and Penn State (0.47) … the current GAA also ranks 4th in ND history, behind the 0.36 in ’97, 0.39 in ’00 and 0.49 in ’03.

PUNCHING THE CLOCK – Current junior F Katie Thorlakson missed the first two games of her ND career due to the 2002 Under-19 World Championship but has not missed a game since joining the Irish (67 straight) … junior M Annie Schefter (missed ’02 due to injury) and sophomore M Jen Buczkowski each have appeared in all 48 games over the past two seasons while four sophomore have played in 47 of the 48: D Christie Shaner (45 straight, dnp vs. ASU in ’03), D Kim Lorenzen (38, dnp vs. Indiana State in ’03), F/M Lizzie Reed (37, dnp vs. West Virginia in ’02) and DM Jill Krivacek (32, dnp vs. UConn in ’03).

FIRST-HALF FORTRESS – The ND defense has been particularly stingy in the 1st half the past four seasons, allowing just 26 goals in the 1st half of those 88 games (0.30/gm) … the 1st half in ’02 saw little scoring (12-10 ND edge), compared to a 40-7 first-half edge in ’03 (28-4 in ’04, while allowing just 60 first-half shots and 11 corner kicks) … the Irish have been equally dominant in the first (68-11) and second half (64-13) over the past two seasons.

GOING THE DISTANCE – ND is unbeaten in its last 17 overtime games (12-0-5), since the 3-2, double-OT loss to UNC in the ’99 opener … prior to the recent 0-0 game vs. Rutgers, the Irish played 18 straight non-OT games (longest since the ’97 and ’98 teams combined for 31 straight non-OT games) … after the opening ’99 loss to UNC, that Irish team went on to post a 2-1, double-OT win at UConn and played to a 1-1 tie at Nebraska in the NCAA quarterfinals (adv. on PKs) … the 2000 team had OT wins over Stanford, at West Virginia and vs. Santa Clara in the NCAA quarterfinals (all 2-1) plus a 0-0 tie at UConn … ’01 featured an unprecedented five OT games (2-1 vs. Indiana, Villanova, WVU and Michigan; 2-2 vs. Wisconsin) while the ’02 team added 1-0 OT wins over Rutgers and BC … the ’03 team had a 0-0 tie with Stanford (at SCU) and OT wins over Villanova (1-0) and Miami (2-1, BE quarter’s).

SHARING THE WEALTH IN OT – ND’s 12 overtime wins in the Waldrum era include goals from seven players (own goal vs. Stanford in ’00): Anne Makinen (vs. UConn, ’99), Amanda Guertin (ND record 4; vs. West Virginia in ’00, Michigan in ’01, Boston College in ’02, Miami in ’03 BIG EAST quarter’s), Meotis Erikson (vs. SCU in ’00 NCAA quarter’s), Kelly Tulisiak (vs. Indiana, ’01), Amy Warner (2; vs. Villanova in ’01, Rutgers in ’02), Mia Sarkesian (vs. WVU, ’01) and Katie Thorlakson (vs. Villanova, ’03).

FRONTRUNNERS – Since a 3-2 loss to BYU (10/19/02), ND has trailed in just 10 of 52 games for 269:26 (5.7% of 4,739:29), going 45-5-2 in that 52-game stretch … 5 of ND’s 10 deficits in that span have been 11 minutes or shorter while only three teams have led the Irish more than 40 minutes over that 51-game stretch (Michigan for 60, Boston College for 83, Pittsburgh for 41).

BAM! … BUCZKOWSKI DOES IT AGAIN – Sophomore M Jen Buczkowski did not register a gamewinning goal in the first 37 games of her ND career before delivering a pair of GWGs in the late moments of back-to-back wins at Georgetown (89:16; 2-1) and vs. #20 Boston College (79:06; 1-0) … three games later, she added her 3rd GWG in the 4-0 win at Michigan and then had the GWG in the BIG EAST semifinal vs. BC (2-0; giving her 4 GWGs in span of 5 wins) … Buczkowski also has surged to 2nd among BIG EAST players with 11 assists (18th nationally), trailing only her teammate Katie Thorlakson’s 21 (tops in the nation).


THOR BRINGS THUNDER AND LIGHTNING – Katie Thorlakson continues to lead the nation in assists (21) while ranking 2nd in points (63) and 4th in goals (21, 2nd among players from ranked teams) … her 10 points vs. St. John’s (4G-2A) are 5th-most by a Div. I player this season (among players from 306 schools) while her 8 points vs. #4 Santa Clara are tied for 8th and are most by any player vs. a top-25 opponent … she is the only player from a current top-25 team who has posted 8-plus points in a game (doing so twice) and joins Detroit’s Mary Parker (12 vs. Cleveland State, 8 vs. Niagara) as the only players to post 8-plus points in multiple games this season … Thorlakson’s 4-goal game has been bested just four times this season by Division I players while only six players in the nation have totaled more assists in a game this season than Thorlakson’s 3A vs. Baylor … she combines with Sam Houston State’s Yoanna Garcia as the nation’s only players to post 4-plus goals and 3-plus assists in games this season (Thorlakson did so in different games while Garcia had 5G-4A vs. Texas Southern) … here are the NCAA stat leaders entering this week’s action (see PDF).

BIG EAST BEAST – The BIG EAST Conference was well-represented in the 2004 NCAA Tournament field by five teams: No. 4 seed ND, West Virginia, Boston College, UConn and Villanova … the Atlantic Coast Conference (8) was the only league with more teams in the field than the BIG EAST’s five … the BIG EAST and ACC also had the most teams remaining in the NCAA round of 16 (3 each).

AVOIDING THE PITFALLS – Prior to its 0-0 game vs. Rutgers (Oct. 22), Notre Dame was the only unbeaten/untied team left among 306 in Division I … North Carolina (18-0-2) entered the NCAAs as the only unbeaten team while ND joined Dayton (20-1-0 before losing 1st-round game) and seven-times-tied Campbell (12-1-7, then lost in 1st round) as the nation’s only one-loss teams.

DEPTH CHARGES – The 2004 season has been a unique one in many ways for Randy Waldrum’s squad, as the veteran Irish coach and his players have embraced a system of deeper substitution and rotating lineups … 19 different players have started for the Irish this season, including 17 who have logged at least five starts … ND often has elected to not start several top players on the second game of a weekend, instead bringing them off the bench for a “shock troops” effect that was made popular by legendary ND football coach Knute Rockne (he often would start his entire 2nd team, then bring in the top group later in the game) … the team’s top reserves in general situations have included a pair of freshmen – F/M Jannica Tjeder and M Ashley Jones – along with senior F/D Candace Chapman or sophomore F/M Lizzie Reed (Chapman and Reed have split time as a starting F in ’04) … Chapman starred as a right back with ND in ’01 and ’02 (when she was an All-American) and has shifted back to the defense at times this season (she also has been a standout flank M with the Canadian National Team) … others who have turned in strong efforts off the bench and as spot starters include senior outside back Kate Tulisiak, junior D/M Jenny Walz and sophomore defensive M Claire Gallerano.

FURIOUS FLURRIES – Notre Dame turned in a three-goal flurry in a five-minute stretch midway through the first half of the BIG EAST quarterfinal vs. St. John’s but the Irish then outdid themselves early in the second half, tacking on three more goals in a span of just 78 seconds to suddenly lead by a 6-0 margin.

SHANER SHINES AS MEMBER OF DOMINATING DEFENSE – Sophomore left back Christie Shaner, considered by coach Randy Waldrum to be ND’s “most consistent defender” in ’04, was named BIG EAST defensive player of the week after helping hold #20 Boston College to one shot on goal, in the 88th minute of that 1-0 win (Oct. 16) … Shaner, a 2nd team all-BIG EAST pick in ’03 and a 3rd teamer in ’04, is part of a veteran back line that also includes: 5th-year central back Melissa Tancredi (a 2003 All-American and one of 15 final candidates for the ’03 and ’04 Hermann Trophy), senior central back Gudrun Gunnarsdottir (a starter with the Icelandic National Team) and sophomore right back Kim Lorenzen … Lorenzen’s all-around athleticism affords her the versatility to play any field position (she often shifts to a flank M role) and she has surged to 6th on the team in scoring (3G-4A, 10 pts), recently delivering a clutch GWG at West Virginia (3-1) and the late primary assist to beat Boston College, 1-0 (both teams were #20 at game time), plus 1G-1A in the BIG EAST quarterfinal vs. St. John’s and a goal in the NCAAs vs. EIU … Tancredi – the ’03 and ’04 BIG EAST defensive player of the year – is a starter with the Canadian National Team while Shaner is in the U.S. Under-21 National Team player pool …the ’04 defense has allowed just 12 goals (0.50 GAA; 4th in nation), 131 total shots (5.5/gm), 61 shots on goal (2.5/gm) and 35 corner kicks (1.6/gm) with just five deficits (88 min.) … the four backline starters have combined for 237 career games played at ND (192 starts) … Tancredi (2,042; 85/gm) and Shaner (1,919/80) lead the ’04 team in minutes played while Lorenzen is 5th (1,719), with Gunnarsdottir logging 1,566 (dnp 3 gms/minor inj.).

MAGIC NUMBERS ¬- The 3-goal mark has been virtually an automatic win for ND, with the Irish 211-3-1 all-time (.984) when scoring 3-plus, losing to N.C. State in the ’92 opener (4-3), UConn in ’95 (5-4, OT) and at Georgetown in ’02 (4-3), plus a 3-3 tie vs. Vanderbilt in ’91… the Irish had won 88 straight when scoring 3-plus, before the GU loss (now 115-1-0 since 10/6/95) … ND is 295-9-12 (.952) all-time when holding the opponent to 0-1 goals (101-3-5 since 9/9/99), including tough 1-0 losses in ’02 to eventual NCAA champ Portland and top-ranked Stanford … prior to the UP loss, the Irish had been 56-0-3 in the previous 59 games when allowing 0-1 GA (dating back to 1-0 loss to SMU in ’99, playing minus Finnish national teamer Anne Makinen) … the program’s 17-year history includes just 300 goals allowed in 390 games (0.77 GA per game) … the Irish have allowed more than one goal in only 73 all-time games (19%) and have yielded 3-plus goals in just 33 all-time games (8%; including two 6-goal games by the opponent, four 5-goal and six 4-goal) … 92% of ND’s all-time games have seen the Irish hold the opponent to 0-2 goals (ND is just 4-28-1 all-time when allowing 3-plus).

FAR & WIDE – ND’s ’04 roster includes players from 13 states, two Canadian provinces, Iceland and Finland … the program’s all-time roster canvasses 30 states and three foreign countries … ND’s student-athlete population in ’02-’03 included nearly 800 individuals from 47 states (all but Idaho, Mississippi, Nevada) and 20 foreign countries.

GOALS-A-PLENTY – Stretching from ’92-’04, the Irish have scored in 94.8% of their games (291 of 307) … since ’94, the Irish have scored in 248 of 263 (.950; three shutouts in NCAA title games) – with goals in 190 of 198 regular-season games (.960) over that 11-year stretch … ND saw its 31-game scoring streak (3rd-best in Irish history) end in ’02.

LOFTY COMPANY – Here’s a look at the former Irish players who have welcomed Katie Thorlakson as one of the most accomplished scorers in the program’s history:
• She and Amy Warner (’00 and ’02) are the only ND players since 2000 with 3-plus goals in a game more than once in their careers
• She and Jenny Streiffer (2G-5A vs. Providence, 3G-2A vs. Seton Hall, in ’96) are the only ND players with 8-plus points in multiple games during the same season (Streiffer also had a 4G/8-point game in ’97 while Monica Gerardo had 4G games in ’96 and ’97)
• The other nine ND players in the 30-goal, 30-assist club: Shannon Boxx (39G-57A), Cindy Daws (61-67), Meotis Erikson (59-46), Gerardo (73-44), Rosella Guerrero (55-32), Alison Lester (45-36), Anne Makinen (65-56), Michelle McCarthy (59-38) and Streiffer (70-71) … all but Guerrero also reached 35G-35A … Daws, Erikson, Gerardo, Makinen and Streiffer are five of 33 all-time Division I players to reach 40G-40A while Daws, Streiffer and Makinen are among 16 in the 50G-50A club … Daws, Streiffer and just thee other players in NCAA history have reached 60G-60A (Streiffer and former UNC great Mia Hamm are the only 70-70 players).
• She is the third ND player to reach 14G-14A in regular season (1st since ’97), joining Daws (21G-17A in ’96) and Streiffer (18G-21A in ’96, 16G-16A in ’97) in that distinction
• She has joined Daws (26G-20A) and Streiffer (22G-22A) as the only ND players to reach 20G-20A in a season (both in ’96)
• Her 10-point game vs. St. John’s bested the Notre Dame record of nine, previously shared by 1996 teammates Streiffer (2G-5A vs. Providence) and Gerardo (4G-1A vs. Seton Hall).
• Her 4G vs. SJU were the most by an ND player in seven seasons and tied the team mark shared by Streiffer (’97 vs. Georgetown) and Gerardo (’96 vs. SHU and Indiana).

CANADIAN CONNECTION – Notre Dame’s three Canadian natives – 5th-year D Melissa Tancredi (Ancaster, Ont.), senior F/D Candace Chapman (Ajax, Ont.) and junior F Katie Thorlakson (Langley, B.C) – have been key leaders of the ’04 squad, combining for 52% of the team’s goals (34 of 65) and 49% of the points (99 of 203) this season … Thorlakson ranks 2nd in the nation (among players from 306 Division I teams) with 63 points and 1st with 21 assists, plus 4th in goals (21) … she set an ND record with 10 points vs. St. John’s (the 4G tied an ND record) while her 8 points vs. #4 Santa Clara (3G-2A; most ever by ND player vs. top-25 teem) are 7th-most in the nation this year and made her the 3rd ND player ever to post a hat trick vs. a top-10 opponent … she became the only ND player ever to score/assist on ND’s first 5 goals in a game, vs. Baylor (2G-3A) and SCU, before having a hand in the first six goals vs. SJU (and 12 straight over 3 games, with 7G-5A) … Chapman ranks 3rd in the BIG EAST in points (30) and 5th in goals (11) and assists (8) despite playing a reduced number of minutes as she returns from ’03 ACL surgery (she can apply for a 5th year in ’05) … Tancredi, coming off an All-America season in ’03, is the leader of ND’s back line from her central D spot and has helped the Irish limit the opposition to 131 total shots (5.5/gm), 61 shots on goal (2.6/gm) and 35 corners (1.5/gm) … Chapman, who started at right back for ND in ’01 and ’02, has started with the Canadian National Team (mostly at flank midfielder) while Tancredi emerged as a starting central D with Canada after the ’03 college season … Thorlakson made her first appearance with Canada’s full national team (prior to the ’04 college season) and is a standout with the U-19 National Team.

SUPER FROSH – Freshman F Amanda Cinalli scored the late GWG at UConn and had the primary assist on the first goal (by Jen Buczkowski) at Syracuse, earning BIG EAST rookie of the week honors for Sept. 13-19 … Cinalli, currently 4th on the team in scoring (21 pts; 8G-5A), then became the first freshman to be honored by the BIG EAST this season as offensive (or defensive) player of the week, after a pair of key goals in BIG EAST road wins over Villanova (1-0) and Georgetown (2-1) on Oct. 8 and 10 … her goal at VU came on a well-placed crossing shot from 30 yards that ripped into the upper right corner of the net … Cinalli’s 21 points and 8 goals both rank among the BIG EAST freshman leaders and she ranks 11th overall among BIG EAST players in goals… Cinalli scored ND’s first two goals of the season in the 7-2 win over Baylor, becoming just the 4th freshman ever to open the season scoring for the Irish and likewise was the 4th ND player ever to score the first 2G in a season … she opened the scoring in the NCAAs vs. Eastern Illinois to snap her 7-game goal drought and spark the Irish to the 4-0 win.

GREAT STARTS – The ’03 season saw ND go unbeaten after 19 games for the 4th time in the program’s history while the ’04 team surpassed that feat with a 19-0-1 start … the ’04 season marked the 2nd time an ND team has won the first 15 games of the season (then 0-0 vs. Rutgers), one shy of the record-setting 16-0-0 start in ’00 … here’s a look at ND’s top season-opening streaks (see PDF):

THORLAKSON TO STAY – Junior F Katie Thorlakson announced in late September her intention to remain with the Irish for the entire ’04 season, foregoing the previous plan to leave for three weeks to compete Canada at the Under-19 World Championship (Nov. 10-27, in Thailand) … that event overlaps with the first three rounds of the NCAAs and could prevent players from returning for the quarterfinals … several others – including ND sophomore M Jen Buczkowski – have made similar decisions in recent months … Buczkowski is the playmaker of the Irish midfield and has been a starting defender with the U.S. U-19 squad … unlike their Canadian counterparts, the U.S. federation instituted a residency training camp for the months leading up to the U-19 World Championship, meaning team members had to sit out the entire semester from their respective colleges or high schools (ND signee Kerri Hanks has been a leading scorer for the U.S. U-19s and has delayed her enrollment until the ’05 spring semester) … Buczkowski made a surprise announcement at the team’s ’04 spring banquet, informing the team she would be returning to Notre Dame for the fall of ’04.

Katie Thorlakson ON REMAINING FOR ENTIRE ’04 SEASON – “It was a really hard decision. I thought about all the stress and decisions I’ve had to make the last three years and the positions I’ve put myself in, never really feeling I was part of something and going back and forth from one team to another. This year has been so special with ND and I just decided to forego going to the U-19 World Championships. With that team, a number of girls will step up and be leaders and maybe it will be a good opportunity for them. … I could have gone for just a couple of weeks to Thailand and coach (Waldrum) allowed me to do that and gave me a lot of space in this process. I just realized that I needed to be at school and playing soccer here. (At Syracuse) there was an incident where I could have gotten into a scuffle and that’s something I might have done in the past, but then I probably would have been kicked out and would not have been able to score the winning goal. It’s all become a matter of putting the team over myself. I’ve worked hard at showing more restraint in my emotions. … Playing for the National Team is an awesome experience. Most of my best friends are from that team that played in 2002. They are the best players in your country and you are best friends. … At the same time, we are even more like family here at Notre Dame. We are together just about year-round. Our team concept really came together during the Brazil trip, playing hard and playing to win.”

ND HEAD COACH Randy Waldrum – ” Katie and Jen love their national teams but they also love this team here at Notre Dame, so it’s a tremendously difficult decision for them. But I also think it shows how both have matured. It says a lot about them as people and teammates and shows how much they care about this program and this school. Katie’s attitude, intensity and leadership have been just as phenomenal as her performance on the field. She has made a great commitment to being a great player and I can’t think anyone in the college game is playing as well as her. This is a huge moment for our program because it shows the commitment of an elite player willing to stay and help win a national championship.”

WINDY-CITY TRIO – The “Canadian Connection” is not the only noteworthy trio on the ND women’s soccer team, as three Chicago-area natives have played key roles … the three sophomores – M Jen Buczkowski (Elk Grove HS), D/M Kim Lorenzen (Naperville North HS) and defensive M Jill Krivacek (Geneva; Rosary HS) – led the Illinois team to the 2003 Olympic Development national title before starting their Notre Dame careers … each of the Chicago natives play key, but subtle, roles on the Irish squad, with Lorenzen’s great versatility allowing her to play anywhere on the field (she scored the gamewinning goal in the 74th minute at #20 West Virginia and had the primary assist on Buczkowski’s GWG vs. #20 Boston College) … the 5-foot-10 Krivacek has fortified the defensive midfield spot while Buczkowski is the classic field general and is 3rd on the team with 27 points (8G-11A).

BIG & BRIGHT – The lone star state has deep connections to ND women’s soccer (all three coaches, three players are Texas natives):
• Sixth-year ND head coach Randy Waldrum is a native of Irvin, Texas, played at Midwestern State (Wichita Falls, Texas) from ’77-’80, coached the men’s teams at Austin College (’82) and Texas Wesleyan (’88) and coached the Baylor women from ’96-’98 (he was the Texas Longhorns club’s director of coaching from ’87-’89).
• 2nd-year assistant Alvin Alexander is an Arlington native and his Lamar HS team was a rival of Waldrum’s MacArthur HS (they were teammates at Midwestern) … Alexander’s background in Texas youth soccer includes eight years as a staff coach/trainer with the North Texas and Midland Olympic Development programs (’93-’01) … he coached u-13/u-15 girls and u-11 boys with the elite Dallas Texans club (’02-’03) and built Black Magic into one of best clubs in West Texas (’89-’99) … he held coaching/administrative duties with teams at Oakridge HS (’99-’03), American Eagles girls developmental team in Colleyville (’01-’02), Arlington Strikers boys (’99-’00) and Texas-Permian Basin men’s team in Odessa (’95-’97) – and also was player/coach with Permian Basin Mirage pro indoor team.
• 2nd-year assistant Dawn Greathouse is a native of Allen, Texas, and played for Waldrum as the starting ‘keeper at Baylor … she also starred for the Texas Longhorns and the Region III and North Texas ODP squads.
• Sophomore M Claire Gallerano (Dallas/Ursuline HS) helped lead the Dallas Texans to the ’03 USYSA national club title.
• Prep All-America F Kerri Hanks – a ’03 signee who will not enroll at ND until next string, due to Under-19 World Championship training with the U.S. team – earned the USYSA’s Golden Boot Award as the tournament’s top scorer with that ’03 Dallas Texans.
• Current freshman G Lauren Karas (Flower Mound HS) also has starred for the Dallas Sting and Texans club teams, plus the Region III and North Texas ODP teams (she earned the Golden Glove Award with North Texas at the 2004 ODP nationals).
• ND’s all-time roster includes 16 Texas natives, most notably: early scoring leader Stephanie Porter (’90-’93; Spring/Klein HS); steady M Tiffany Thompson (’91-’94; Houston/Cypress Creek HS); clutch ‘keeper Liz Wagner (’98-’01; Spring/Klein HS); All-America D Monica Gonzalez (’97-’01; Richardson/Plano East HS); and high-scoring F Amanda Guertin (’00-’03; Grapevine HS).

GOAL PATROL – Notre Dame players have combined for 20 multiple-goal games over 48 games in the past two seasons (compared to just five in all of ’02), by 10 different players … three different players – Amanda Cinalli, Katie Thorlakson and Candace Chapman – had two goals in the 2004 opener vs. Baylor, with Thorlakson adding 3G vs. Santa Clara, 2G vs. both UWGB and Michigan and then 4G vs. St. John’s while Maggie Manning had 2G at Texas Tech and Chapman added 2G vs. Seton Hall … current players who posted multiple-goal games in ’03 included: Manning vs. Hartford (2), Jen Buczkowski vs. Oklahoma, Thorlakson and Annie Schefter vs. Western Kentucky, Melissa Tancredi vs. North Texas and Thorlakson at Rutgers.

OVERCOMING ADVERSITY – The Notre Dame women’s soccer team has been forced to overcome injuries to some top players during the past five seasons, most notably in 2002, ’03 and ’04 (272 total games lost to injury in that 3-year span) … many of those players were sidelined for large chunks of the season or were lost at key postseason junctures … here’s a sampling of some of the more noteworthy injuries that the Irish have overcome in the past five seasons (see PDF):

TULISIAK TAKES CHARGE – Senior D Kate Tulisiak played a reserve role her first two seasons and missed most of ’03 due to a back injury, but she picked an ideal time for the first point of her career after intercepting a pass and providing the endline cross as Amanda Cinalli scored in the 84th minute for the 1-0 win at UConn on Sept. 17 … she also helped hold UConn (1-0) and Syracuse (2-1) to 14 combined shots, 4 shots on goal and 3 corner kicks, en route to earning BIG EAST defensive player of the week.

HIT & MISS – Notre Dame has averaged 22 shots per game this season but has met with mixed results when it comes to finding the net, averaging 8.0 shots per goal … here’s a look at the team’s five best and five worst shooting-pct. games of 2004 (see PDF):

CLUTCH CANADIAN – Sophomore F Katie Thorlakson (Langley, B.C.) picked key times for all four of her game-winning goals in ’03, with two vs. top-15 teams (#10 Santa Clara, #15 UConn), plus the OT goal vs. Villanova and the early strike at Rutgers (3-0) … she is the only current ND player with multiple career goals vs. UConn (her goal tied the ’02 game, 1-1, in a 3-1 win) … the ’02 ND-UConn game proved to be a key turning point for the program, with current 5th-year senior Melissa Tancredi making the full-time move from F to central D while Thorlakson shifted permanently from M to F … since those key shifts, the Irish are 47-6-2 in their past 55 games.

OPENING-DAY RECORDS – Amanda Cinalli’s goal vs. Baylor made her the 4th freshman ever to score ND’s first goal of a season, with others including Margaret Jarc (’89; 4-1 vs. St. Joseph’s), Rosella Guerrero (’92; 3-4 vs. N.C. State) and current senior Mary Boland (’01; 2-1 vs. Penn State) … Cinalli became the 4th ND player to score the team’s first two goals in a season, joining Alison Lester (’91; 2-0 vs. Mercyhurst) and Guerrero (’92; 3-4 vs. N.C. St.; ’93, 12-0 vs. LaSalle) … Katie Thorlakson’s 2G-3A vs. Baylor tied the ND record for pts in a half (7) shared by Tasha Strawbridge (3G-1A vs. Valparaiso, ’90) and Monica Gerardo (3G-1A at Prov., ’98).

WINNING TRADITIONS – Several ND players led their clubs and state Olympic Development teams to elite status before joining the Irish … five current sophomores helped their teams post top national finishes in ’03 and the current freshmen lived up to that standard … Ashley Jones completed the rare double of winning 2004 national titles with her California South state ODP team and Southern California United club … her classmate Kerri Hanks earlier won the Golden Boot Award as the tournament’s top scorer with the ’03 Dallas Texans national champs while Lauren Karas earned the Golden Glove with North Texas at ’04 ODP nationals (her team lost to Jones and Cal-South, 1-0) … Susan Pinnick led the Carmel (Ind.) Commotion to a runner-up finish at the 2003 USYSA under-17 nationals while Kelly Simon was a member of the St. Louis-based Busch Soccer Club that was the ’01 and ’02 national runner-up.

FRESHMAN CLASS #2 – Soccer Buzz ranked ND’s incoming class 2nd-best in the nation while Soccer America had the Irish 5th … the six signees for ’04 included highly-regarded forwards Amanda Cinalli (Maple Hts, Ohio), Kerri Hanks (Allen, Texas), Susan Pinnick (South Bend, Ind.) and Jannica Tjeder (Espoo, Finland), plus M Ashley Jones (Westlake Village, Calif.) and G Lauren Karas (Flower Mound, Texas) … Hanks is the leading scorer for the U.S. Under-19 National Team while Cinalli and Pinnick have been members of the U-17s (all three were prep All-Americans) … each of the five U.S. signees was a member of her respective ODP regional team … Karas was a member of the U-16 National Team pool while Jones helped lead her ODP squad and the Southern California United club to national titles … Tjeder is one of the top young players in Finland, playing for the u-17, u-19 and u-21 teams … ND’s ’04 roster is comprised of four top-ranked recruiting classes … ND joins UNC and Virginia as the only teams to have their recruiting classes in the SB top 15 from ’01-’04 (ND 14-9-5-2 from ’01-’04; UNC 2-1-6-3; UVa 1-3-11-12) … ND and UNC are the only teams to be in the SB top-15 classes every year since those rankings began in ’98 (ND 11-4-9 from ’98-’00; UNC 2-1-2) … SA has ranked top-10 classes since ’02, with ND and UNC the only teams in the SA top 10 every year from ’02-’04 (ND was 9-5-4 from ’02-’04; UNC 1-6-2) … ND and Texas (3rd in ’03 and ’04) are the only teams to attract SA top-5 classes each of the past two seasons … SB’s top-15 classes for ’04: Texas A&M, ND, UNC, Penn St., Texas, Clemson, Portland, Maryland, Ohio St., Cal, Villanova, UVa, Michigan, Illinois, Santa Clara … SA’s top-10: A&M, UNC, Texas, PSU, ND, Nebraska, OSU, Portland, Florida, Cal.

NATIONAL TEAMS – Three former ND players – D Kate Sobrero Markgraf, G LaKeysia Beene and defensive M Shannon Boxx – recently have been starters with the U.S. National Team, with Sobrero and Boxx starting for the ’03 World Cup (3rd place) and ’04 Olympic (gold) teams … nine current members of the ND program have been active with various national teams, including Candace Chapman and Melissa Tancredi (starters with Canada’s national team) and Chapman and Katie Thorlakson with Canada’s U-19 National Team … Annie Schefter, Mary Boland, Jen Buczkowski and Kerri Hanks have been starters with the U.S. U-19s while Gudrun Gunnarsdottir is a member of Iceland’s national team and Jannica Tjeder has been a regular with Finland’s U-17, -19 and -21 teams … former Irish D Monica Gonzalez is a founding member of Mexico’s women’s national team and captained Mexico in its historic appearance at the ’04 Olympics (former Irish F Monica Gerardo also was a founding member of the Mexican team).

GONE, BUT NOT FORGOTTEN – Four members of the ND women’s soccer team – plus senior F Mary Boland (broken leg in 4th game of ’04, out for season) – will not compete with the Irish in ’04 … freshman F Kerri Hanks – rated by Soccer America as the nation’s No. 4 signee and part of the No. 2-ranked freshman class (per Soccer Buzz, No. 4 class per SA) – is training with the U.S. for the U-19 World Championship (Nov. 10-27 in Thailand) and will enroll next spring … 5th-year M Randi Scheller (hip), freshman F Susan Pinnick (neck/back; summer club team van accident) and freshman M Kelly Simon (shoulder surgery) are out due to injuries … Pinnick, like classmates Hanks and Amanda Cinalli, was a prep All-American and played alongside Cinalli on the U.S. U-17s.